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Dhodenling : The Sanctuary of Tibetan spirits

The establishment of Dhondenling Tibetan settlement in Kollegal, Karnataka was facilitated in 1974 through the support of the Indian government and the Karnataka State. This settlement encompasses a total area of about 3000 acres, dedicated to both residential and agricultural purposes. The Architectural style found throughout the entire Dhondenling Tibetan settlement is deeply rooted in Tibetan culture, showcasing monasteries, stupas, and prayer flags. It serves as a remarkable reflection of Tibetan culture, which draws inspiration from the geography and climate of the Tibetan plateau, as well as Buddhism.

Tibetan Architecture predominantly features the colors red, white, blue and black, all of which are derived from natural pigments found in the local soil. In Tibetan culture, these colours symbolize the spirits that exist in heaven, on Earth, and beneath. By incorporating these colours into their buildings, Tibetans believe they are protected by these spirits. The structures in Dhondenling, including monasteries, are adorned with vibrant colours and intricate wooden details on doors, windows, railings, beams, and other elements. Tibetan monasteries, such as the Dzogchen Monastery, feature exquisite murals and details.

Dzogchen Monastery, once located in Tibet, was rebuilt in Kollegal, Karnataka, following its destruction in the late 1950s when the original complex was burnt down. The reconstruction took place in Dhondenling based on the guidance of the 14th Dalai Lama. Now firmly established in the Dhondenling Tibetan settlement, the Dzogchen Monastery serves as the official seat of the seventh tulku of the Dzogchen Rinpoche. In December 2000, the Dzogchen Rinpoche visited the monastery and settlement, imparting teachings to the residents.The serene topography surrounding the settlement complements its cultural atmosphere.

I discovered Dhondenling to be a meditative sanctuary blessed with delightful weather, with a settlement which possesses various Architectural values and significance. Dhodenling communities are modest yet proud people who wholeheartedly embrace their cultural identity while remaining humble.

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